What a great day to feature my friend (on Twitter and IRL), Shannon Paul. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Shannon last week at SXSW in the blogger’s lounge, at the Social Media Club meeting and at a variety of parties across the event. In addition to Shannon being a super sweetheart (and one of the nicest people I know), she was also the recent winner of our “what is social marketing” challenge. Oh yeah, she is also the social voice and brains behind this little hockey team in Detroit called the Redwings (heard of ‘em?).
In one sentence, please describe what you do and why you’re good at it.
I have a lot of tenacity and an ability to help people connect ideas previously thought to be unrelated, which is what makes me good at my current position working in New Media with the NHL Detroit Red Wings.
I have always been an information junkie so it was really only a matter of time. I started researching this stuff when I was in college for an independent study project I proposed doing in lieu of attending a capstone course. For the project I launched a blog about literature that absolutely nobody read, but through that project, I learned how blogs work, a bit about HTML, what an RSS feed is, etc. It was during that time that I started reading blogs about blogging and social media. It took awhile for me to ever start commenting, but then when people started talking back to me, I was hooked.
If I had $10 million I would start my own company. I have ideas… LOTS of ideas.
Toni Morrison. She is one of the most gifted writers of our time, but she was an editor in the publishing business before she ever published one of her own books and through listening to her speak about her work, I learned to be a lot more accepting of the market and how different people use the market to move ideas. In the past I was one of those people who would look down on a lot of people, especially artists, who embraced the market as having sold out. I love the fact that much of her work can be defined as high art, but she wasn’t above going on Oprah and engaging with regular women in a means of making her work more accessible. FYI, I think she qualifies as a public figure because she’s a Nobel Prize winner… that should count.
I never underestimate the power of creativity and incentives. I can’t think of a reason to join a toothpaste community, but that doesn’t mean I never would. If there was a way to engage in a toothpaste community that offered a means of getting discounts on dental services, THAT would be worth something to a lot of people without coverage… or even to people with coverage if they could supplement it some way. Or, I’m not a parent, but if I were, maybe I would join a toothpaste community that gave me tips and tricks on how to encourage my kids to brush their teeth. I used to smoke (gasp, I know) but while I was quitting, I would brush my teeth ten times a day as a means of powering through the craving — a tip I learned in an online community — maybe a toothpaste company could launch a community dedicated to helping smokers and smokeless tobacco users to quit the habit — that’s good for oral hygiene right? The bottom line is that I would join any community that provided something of value to me. If a toothpaste company can figure out a way to do that, then yes.
Never be afraid to do something that has never been done before. Somebody has to do it first, why can’t it be you? Oh, and listen to smart people.